tv The Situation Room CNN August 28, 2014 2:00pm-4:01pm PDT
lead cnm. check out our show page for video, blogs, extras. you can subscribe to our magazine on this crazy new thing called flip board. i'm jake tapper. i turn you over to wolf blitzer. he is in "the situation room." he is in "the situation room." wolf? -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com happening now, breaking news, crisis meeting. president obama speaks out as major world trouble spots explode in fresh violence. new isis horrors. even after a mass slaughter of prisoners in syria, the president says he does not yet have a strategy for dealing with the terror group. and full scale invasion. the u.s. backs ukraine's claim that russian troops and thanks are now fighting inside its territory. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." president obama has just addressed dangerous escalations in two major world kryss.
even as the president meets with his top national security team, this hour, about possible new air strikes he admits there is no strategy yet for dealing with isis. that comes as the terror group boasts about new atrocities it's committed in syria, showing the mass execution of prisoners. plus as ukraine an cues russia of a full-scale invasion, president obama points to evidence that russian forces are now involved in the fighting. our reporters and our guests are standing by with full coverage. let's begin with senior white house correspondent jim acosta. he's got the latest. jim? >> wolf, you heard the president just a few minutes ago wrap up a fairly lengthy news conference here at the white house about these pressing issues of the day, whether or not he'll take military action against isis targets in syria and, of course, russia's military operation that appears to be under way in ukraine. but getting to the situation with isis and syria, i just want to talk about something that the president just said in the
briefing room within the last hour. he said i don't want to put the cart before horse. we don't have a strategy yet. he was talking about the situation with respect to thisquette of whether or not he will strike i was targets in syria. i've been told by a white house official in just the last couple of minutes and i literally got on the phone with the senior white house official as soon as the president finished his remarks because when he used those words, it caught meet by surprise, as well. and according to a senior white house official in just the last several minutes, the president when he made that remark was talking about a military plan for isis in syria. he was not talking about the overall isis plan, white house officials contend the president does have a strategy for dealing with isis in iraq. it is limited in scope. it is dealing with protecting american personnel in baghdad and erbil and dealing with that humanitarian situation around mount sinjar. they are looking at perhaps expanding that operation in iraq and looking at humanitarian
situations occurring up in the northern part of iraq besides mount sinjar, but again, i want to stress that i talked to a senior white house official in the last several minutes to said the president was just talking about isis in syria and a military plan for isis in syria, wolf. of course, the president went on to say later on in that briefing that one reason why he doesn't have the that strategy at this point is because he wants to the continue consultations with congress but more so, i thought it was very interesting when the president was talking about the region. he almost chastised what he described as state actors in the region who have sort of an ambivalent attitude is the way he described it when it comes to dealing with isis. that's why he's dispatching john kerry to the region and so it is also obviously something that's going to be talked about a great deal at next week's nato summit, wolf. >> the president kept saying he wants sunni arab leaders to get involved and help in this process. let me play the clip because it's causing a lot of buzz out there when the president says we
don't have a strategy yet. here's precisely what the president said, jim. listen to this. >> we will continue to consult with congress and i do think it will be important for congress to weigh in and or that our consultations with congress continue to develop so that the american people are part of the debate. but i don't want to put the cart before the horse. we don't have a strategy yet. >> so there's the precise clip, and i want to make sure that what the president said then and what his aides are now telling you that we're very precise. so go ahead and explain because it's pretty awkward to hear the president say in dealing with isis supposedly, the united states does not have a strategy yet. >> and i think the only way to explain this is to explain it in realtime. they canceled the rest of the white house briefing. i went back into the white house booth. on the phone was a senior white house official whoen waed to say listen, this is what the president said. he was talking about syria military options when it comes
to isis. he was not talking about his overall isis strategy. as to why the president came out today and really talked about postponing or putting off a decision for taking military action against isis in syria, i was told by the same senior white house official that the president really wanted to get ahead and sort of tamp down what they feel like was sort of this rampant speculation. that was fueled in part by the horror that was expressed to the beheading of the journalist james foley that that really ginned up a lot of speculation that perhaps the president was going to order imminent air strikes on isis targets in syria. so the president having viewed the speculation all week long wanted to come out this afternoon and put that to rest in addition to commenting on that very serious crisis in ukraine right now. that was also the other reason. wolf, yes, media speculation about imminent military strikes in syria was on the president's mind. he wanted to make it clear to the american people he's just not there yet, wolf.
>> he certainly walked back what a lot of people were suggesting could be an imminent military operation in syria, the president saying don't get carried away. don't move so quickly. there's still a lot of work to be done before any such military action would happen. jim accost ta, stand by. we're going to go to iraq in a few moments. there was another urgent issue on the president's agenda. the united nations security council now meeting as ukraine is accusing russia of launching a full scale invasion. the united states and its allies saying there is evidence russian troops and thanks are indeed fighting inside ukraine. our chief national security correspondent can jim sciutto is looking at this part of the story. jim, first of all, what's happening on the ground in ukraine? >> well, wolf, an alarming escalation on the ground in the second major foreign policy crisis that the president is dealing right now. two pieces of evidence today. one nato releasing satellite photos showing, proving that russian artillery units are
operating inside ukrainian territory, not just driving in but firing shelling, firing from within ukrainian territory to other targets inside ukrainian territory. nato's been saying for a number of days that they've seen this 37 now they're releasing the satellite evidence to show it. that's what we're seeing in the map, those circles and air rowers pointing to tank and artillery units. the second development in the last 24 hours is russian forces opening up in effect a second front in eastern ukraine. to this point, those russian forces have been coming across the central part of the ukrainian border in the east. another front opening in the southeast closer to crimia, which, of course, you'll remember several weeks ago russia annexed crimea. now down there, the intention it appears is to take some pressure off the pro-russian force who have been beaten back to a great deal by ukrainian forces to the north of this second front. so now you have two fronts in
effect buttressing this argument that you're hearing from ukraine that a full scale invasion is under way. thing is the u.s. and its western allies are not using the term invasion. the british prime minister david cameron used the expression today full scale incursion, incursion has been the favorite word from the state department. of course, you heard the president a short time ago talk about violations of ukrainian sovereignty but he will not, as well use the term invasion. and the president also making a case, wolf, that his strategy with regards to ukraine is working that it is raising the costs on russia, that russia is increasingly isolated. even in the midst of that, russia copies to make further military moves escalating the situation in ukraine. >> the president was precise in his words as you heard. he says russia is encouraging training, arming funding these pro-russian rebels in ukraine. he says russia is violating the sovereignty of ukraine. you're absolutely right. he refused to say what the ukrainian government is saying
that there's a full scale invasion by russia now under way. >> it's interesting because of course, using that term invasion would go make the case particularly among his critics for more immediate action a step up, if not in the economic sanctions then other measures to push back against russian military activity. and you know, it's interesting, the president saying there that he didn't have a strategy at least in terms of military options regarding isiss in syria. there are questions from even european allies particularly those european allies closest to ukraine about what exactly the u.s. strategy is to put back russia. there's a lot of dissatisfaction there, as well. >> the president heading to the nato summit next week in wales. before that he'll go to estonia, a former soviet republics, one of the baltic states to show support for nato allies. jim, thanks very much. as president obama weighs whether to order strikes against isis targets in syria, the jihadist group is boasting it has executed hundreds of
captured syrian troops showing graphic images of half naked prisoners being majored into the desert and slaughtered. at the same time it, the united states may step up air strikes in iraq where a minority town is now surrounded by isis forces. anna coren is joining us from erbil with more on what's going on. this looks really ominous. update viewers. >> yeah, well, there's a lot to talk about. let's start with this chilling sickening video that demonstrates what isis is capable in syria. they show hundreds of soldiers captured soldiers from a military base marching in the desert, stripped to their underwear, many of them with their hands behind their head. the next shot we see is a pile of bloody bodies. then the camera turns and you just see body after body after body. isis claims that they will have
killed executed 250 syrian soldiers in the desert. it is just horrific video. and to see that long line of soldiers, faces in the dirt really just strikes home what this terrorist organization is all about. well, shortly after that video was released, wolf, there was another video that came on to youtube from isis showing the peshmerga forces that they have captured. they claim they've captured at least 15 in this particular video that was shown. these kurdish forces appealing to their president, president barzani to stop cooperating with the united states and allowing them to conduct these air strikes. at the very end of that video, wolf, we see one of the soldiers in an orange jump suit kneeling before a mosque in mosul. this is iraq's second largest city that was seized by isis back in june. shortly after that, he is
beheaded. this is a grotesque barbaric act which has come to define what isis is all about, wolf. >> the fact that isis is in control of mosul as you point out, the second largest city in iraq, a city of nearly 2 million people that used to have a lot of iraqi military personnel there, a lot of u.s. weapons there, i was in mosul back in 2000. hard 0 believe isis controls not only mosul but huge chunks of iraq now as well as syria. anna coren on the scene for us, be careful over there. thanks very, very much. up next, we'll have new details about a second american apparently killed while fighting alongside isis in syria. i'll speak with the house intelligence committee chairman congressman mike rogers. we'll talk about the isis threat. it's american fighters and ways to deal with the brutal terror group.
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gathers intelligence on possible isis targets in syria, we're learning new details about a second american apparently killed there while fighting for the jihadist group. brian todd is taking a closer look at what's going on. what are you learning? >> wolf, u.s. officials are check on the name of this man, abdirahmaan muhumed to determine if he was killed last weekend in syria. officials believe reports of his death are credible. a respected leader in this man's hometown has also told cnn he was killed. a somali community leader in minneapolis says a man named
abdirahmaan muhumed is the second second american killed while fighting with isis in syria. this man says he's close with the family. >> he's married. he had nine kids and a wife. he was a family person. >> a u.s. official says muhumed is a name they're checking to determine if he was killed in the fighting last weekend along with american douglas mccain. a 29-year-old man with the same name was profiled on minnesota public raidiol in june. that man told the radio station in facebook messages he was fighting with isis in syria. the report described him as having nine children and more than one wife. a law enforcement official says a handful of young somali americans from the minneapolis area less than a dozen, have gone to syria to fight with jihadists there. sources tell cnn there's been a recent increase in recruiting for isis which easily lures new jihadis with promises of cash. >> we would expect when we get the contours of this network, people will have their travel
paid for as they will go to turkey and then transit from turkey into syria. >> david ross who monitors radicalization of young people believes they likely get money to travel from the united states through europe into turkey. then he's observed some travel over land to the turkish city, then into syria. in recent years, somali americans from minneapolis have been recruited to fight in somalia with the brutal al qaeda-linked group al she bob. this recruiting video features troy kastigar from minneapolis killed in somalia in 2009. >> if you guys only knew how much fun we have over here. this is the real disneyland. >> now, troy kastigar's mother has told cnn her son was a close friend of douglas mccain. the young american just killed in syria fighting with isis. she said they both attended the same high school in new hope, minnesota. is catty gar's mother described her son and douglas mccain as
young men searching wanting to i have an purpose and be valuable human beings. wolf? >> brian, why has it been seemingly so much easier for officials to identify identify douglas mccain than it has been to identify this other young man? >> one official says mccain was easier to vary phi because of the photos showing his neck tattoo. that was a pretty clear identifying mark right there. we also know mccain had a passport recovered from his body. we're not sure if any documentation has been recovereded from abdura hamann muhumed's body. >> president obama raised eyebrows a little while ago when he said there's no strategy for dealing with isiss in syria. later clarifying the president was speaking specifically how to deal with isis in syria. joining us is congressman mike rogers of michigan. congressman, when you heard the president say there's no strategy yet, his aides cla
clarifying meaning isis in syria. are you okay with that? >> i'm not okay with it. it just confirmed there has been no real strategy. and he said something else i found curious that he had been working or talking to the iraqi government about this growing problem of extremists in iraq reggie for over a year. none of that will fits. so after they took mosul, you would think that they would have sat down for as long as it took to develop a strategy and everybody knows, including the department of defense, you cannot stop isis in iraq without their safe haven operation, their logistic operation in what many believe is supposed to be their headquarters or their capital of their caliphate in the eastern syria. this tells you how far we have to go. i'm not sure the severity of the problem has really sunk in to the administration just yet. clearly that's what that told me today. >> he is also saying that he's asking the defense department, the secretary of defense, the
chairman of the joint chiefs for options, military options to deal with isis in syria. isn't that prudent to get a range of options before you go ahead and you nail down a specific strategy? >> absolutely. but we are so far along into this. this is not like this happened last week or i an few days ago. they went across that berm in full force around june of this year. and we knew it was a problem before june even the president said he was talking about this to iraqi officials over a year ago. this is so frustrating that with all of this going on, with certainly all the intelligence showing us the problems that are there, the president says i want a strategy how to deal with this by the end of the week. it just tells you what apparently we're not taking this seriously for some length of time. this should already be done. they should be talking about a panoply of issues they can work through and hugh they can get to a certain league with arab league partners. by the way, they were initiating these conversations what to do
there almost a year and a half ago, almost two years ago now. that's what's frustrating for those of us who deal with these national security issues every single day. it was an odd press conference at the very best but to have a press conference to say we don't have a strategy was really shocking, given the severity of the threat. that's what's so concerning to me. >> you're briefed all the time by the u.s. intelligence community. do you think the u.s. intelligence community has a good handle on what's going on with isis in iraq and in syria? >> well, remember, that when they pulled out out land forces, it pulled out our ability to have the kind of intelligence you would want in a circumstance like this. certainly in iraq. and the same with syria. so the configuration of our ability to collect intelligence has certainly hindered the ability to get the kinds of intelligence that you would want for a circumstance just like we're facing. so for those of us who believed for some time hey, we need to
configure ourselves a little differently if you're going to address this growing threat, unfortunately, that didn't happen. now we're finding there was no strategy going forward and we're going to have one hopefully by the end of the week. again, that's something we're going to have to work through in short order. >> the president made it clear that it's going to take days if not longer to come up with that strategy dealing with isis in syria. would you be one to advise the president or would you be smart to launch air strikes whether from drones or manned aircraft or tomahawk cruise missiles against the isis command and control facilities most of which are in syria, not in iraq? >> you have an interesting problem. this is a terrorist or the organization that has an army. matter of fact, they just recently appointed an oilman minister. they're in this for the language haul and trying to structure themselves in a way they can hold and expand holdings. when a terrorist territory organization acts like an army,
they present military targets the way any other army would do. i think there are some disruptive actions that the president can take on very short order that would start to degrade and disrupt the momentum of this very dangerous organization. and that's been the problem all along that there has been no disruption in their activities in a sustained way that would impact their logistics flow and their command and control. i think there is a whole bunch of targets they could use even in the short term to do that. >> so you support air strikes, the short term right away against some of these targets in syria? we know the u.s. is launching air strikes against isis targets in iraq. >> they are around to protect the dam. i think the president needs to expand the mission. we need to come out and identify what the problem is. it's not that isis was approaching the dam. that's only one part of a very large problem. the problem is you have a terrorist organization who believes its creating the caliphate and will rape and
murder to get that done who has also expressed an interest to conduct attacks against the united states and europe and now has the availability as you're seeing in the newscast with putting a face on who these individuals are. these are americans with western passports. so they have all the elements. >> just to be precise, congressman, do you support u.s. air strikes against isis targets in syria? >> i would support disruptive activities that could include air strikes in syria and iraq to disrupt what is a terrorist group with army. we have to understand how serious that really is. >> does the president need congressional authorization to launch those air strikes in syria? >> i do believe because of the threat coming out of there, that he would at least do a war powers notification. he does need to sit down with congress. there is a huge gap between the average member of congress, what the problem is and where the
president's position is. and that's not a relationship he has nutured. nor endeavored to fix even in the last couple of years. he needs to get that piece right. in order to do it. i think bringing congress in would be a helpful thing. i think america needs to see a unified united states congress against what is a unified terrorist group with an army so they understand we will not tolerate any attempts for invading their neighbors and or coming to the united states and causing -- >> about the americans who are fighting alongside isis, we've been told that douglas mccain was on a watch list. the u.s. knew about him. what about this other guy, abdir hamann muhumed the second american reportedly killed fighting for isis? was he on a similar watch list? >> i have seen no confirmation of that. and again the fact that they're having some identifying him exactly being there tells you there may be an issue there.
and you have to remember, i think on this, wolf, so important for the average american to understand, as well. some will have that level of identity through good intelligence work or lee and son work with other intelligence services. we don't know who all of them are. some of them have traveled surreptitiously. they go to europe and travel to other countries second and third order countries and then get in to syria. those you wouldn't necessarily know. they're not going to have the proper stampings and other things so you would know exactly where they are. without the good intelligence piece identifying them from the united states in syria, you wouldn't know that. so because they're united states citizens they have constitutional protections that your average al qaeda fighters in syria wouldn't enjoy or isis fighters wouldn't enjoy. it complicates the problem in some cases they're going to get it right. they'll be able to find and identify those individuals. in some cases we will not. that's why those of us who look at this every day are so
concerned that somebody is going to slip through the cracks. they're either going to get into europe or into the united states. canada has some estimates as high as 500 individuals. well, you're just a drive away across a bridge or across a land bridge. you're in the united states after you're into canada. that's a huge problem for us. and we're going to have to change the way we're postured and change our understanding of how you defeat a group like this that's operating in such a vicious manner. >> it's a huge, huge problem. congressman, thanks very much. mike rogers, chairman of the house intelligence committee. coming up, a shocking new video left behind by an american who became a suicide bomber in syria. also, even after all the latest atrocities in syria, the president says there's no strategy yet for dealing with isis. i'm going to speak with a top democrat in the house armed services committee, congressman adam smith is joining us live. at the lexus golden opportunity sales event, you'll discover what happens when we cut corners.
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talking about was specifically syria. i think the real issue there is finding a partner to work with. i mean what gave us a good strategy in iraq we had the kurds to work with and once malaki was removed as requirements and they brought in a new prime minister that could give the sunnis in iraq some hope of a power sharing arrangement, we had someone to work with. u.s. military might alone is not going to contain isis. we need partners locally and who is that partner in syria right now? do we really want to come in on assad's side? i don't think we do. we need to find partners that we can work with in syria to help us contain isis. that's what the president's point of view. that's the problem. isil is a grave, grave threat. but we certainly don't want to come in a way that is supportive of the brutal and illegitimate assad regime in syria. so it is a difficult problem to figure out the best strategy. i agree, they have safe haven there in parts of syria and that
will have to be part of the strategy for containing isil. it's just not an easy problem to deal with. >> if the president does decide after consultations with military advisors and others, members of congress to go ahead and launch air strikes against isis targets in syria, would you support that? >> is i can conceive of supporting that, yes. because i do agree with congressman rogers and others who talked about the grave threat that isis presents. they are a rising terrorist organization. they have already as we know killed one american brutally and savagely. they have threatened attacks on u.s. interests and european interests probably. they are a threat that needs to be contained. if part of containing that threat involves striking them in syria, then that's something i think we would have to do. but i'll tell you, most important thing here is, we need allies in the region to help us contain that threat. we cannot come in unilaterally and simply through u.s. military
might stop this. we need moderates in that region to confront isis and we need to build political support to do this. this is not just going to be a military solution. >> what about arming that so-called free syrian earp, the moderate rebel who's oppose bashar al assad's regime? will you support that? >> absolutely, yes. as you know, we've been working with them for some time. the president has now proposed a department of defense mission to train and equip. i think we should be supporting the free syria movement in any way we can. we need moderates and people we can support wherever we can find them. i know some have said, gosh, supporting the free syria movement wouldn't necessarily be decisive. it wouldn't empower them to remove the assad regime. but that's not the only goal. part of the goal is we need friends in that region. we need reasonable people to work with. certainly the assad regime is not that. certainly as nusra is not that and isis is not that. so the free syria movement may
be the only game in town for us finding reasonable partners we need to work with. we have to strengthen them not so much that they can win but so that they can survive and maintain some territory to give us a partner to work with. >> but you know there are widespread reports and there's confirmation even from elements of the free syrian army that they are cooperating with al newsra, especially in the southern part of iraq right now and that if u.s. arms go to the free syrian army, the moderate element, there's no guarantee they won't wind up in the hands of al nusra. how worried are you about that? >> that's true. there is no guarantee on that issue. two pieces to that. first of all, al nusra and isis are very, very well armed. they have found weapons all over the place. second of all, we know if we don't help the free syria movement, they'll have a difficult time surviving. we have to try to be as careful as we can about who we support within that movement. we shouldn't be supporting ones
collaborating with nusra or isis. if there are moderate elements that we can support and there have been some that we have supported we should seek them out and support them. there's no strategy here, wolf. >> there are certainly moderate elements. the only question is, are they strong enough to protect those weapons if the u.s. were to troy them with those weapons because you saw a lot of u.s. military hardware provided even to the iraq military several hundred thousand forces who abandoned all that weaponry in the face of some challenge from isis. there's deep concern you arm the free syrian army, those weapons will wind up in the hands of al newsra, a group the u.s. state department regards as a terrorist organization. >> well, there is no such thing, wolf, as a no risk strategy in this region. there is no scenario you can put out there, no approach that we could take that doesn't contain risk. it's a matter of taking the right risk and balancing those ricks to make the best choice.
if we're ever going to have any hope of dealing with syria, weigh need to build some partnerships in syria with somebody, have somebody we can work with. yes, there's risk contained in that strategy but we can't afford to have no friends at all in syria if we hope to contain the threat coming out of isis. adam smith, the ranking member of the house armed services committee. thanks very much for joining us. >> thank, wolf. up next, a fascinating new video. you're going to hear an american explain why he joined with the syrian terrorists. he eventually become a suicide bomber. hillary clinton is now weighing innen ot troubles in ferg sob, missouri and the larger question of what they mean for the entire nation. [ brian ] in a race, it's about getting to the finish line. in life, it's how you get there that matters most. it's important to know the difference. like when i found out i had a blood clot in my leg. my doctor said that it could travel to my lungs
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journey to join islamist fighters he was guided by alla. >> when i went back to florida, i was being watched by the fbi. so i had a fleet. >> i say alla, please, help me. please alla, bring somebody to me. please bring him to me. help me, allah please gab me and tyke me to mujahadin. >> we are coming for you, mark my words. >> unlike earlier videos in which the high school dropout issued threats and burned his passport, in this new one he is con tem plative talked about being inspired and war alabama lackey, killed by a u.s. drone strike, about arriving in turkey, clueless what to do next. >> at this point, i'm poor. i have no money. i have no food. i'm hungry. i have no place to stay, no hotel, no nothing. >> i just have thin jacket
coming from florida. florida is tropical in the americas. hot and beach. i have thin thin clothes. very cold and raining. >> he describes approaching men on street whom he suspects might be tied to the fighting. >> and i asked them, i come from america. i want to go to syria. >> one gives him a little money, none give him help till he encounters an old man. he said come, come. so i follow him. he tried to speak to me on the bus and he doesn't know english so it's very hard. but he's al qaeda. >> abu sa la says that contact led him to an al qaeda safehouse, then into syria where this video was apparently taped. then the young man from florida drove a truck full of explosives into syrian soldiers and blew himself up. >> as misguided and ill informed as this young man may seem,
national security experts believe young men like this are very dangerous because of up to 100 americans are suspected to have gone to join radical groups in that region. if this they know here, they know how to get around and possibly carry out a terrorist strike in their homeland. >> powerful powerful report. tom, thanks very, very much. right at the top of the hour, by the way, the white house press secretary josh earnest will be here to clarify what president obama meant during the news conference over at the white house when he said we don't have a strategy yet when it comes to isis. up next, hillary clinton's first public comments on the trouble in the streets of ferguson, missouri. the police shot and killed michael brown. ♪ ♪ so nice, so ni-i-i-ce ♪ sweet, sweet st. thomas nice ♪ so nice, so ni-i-i-ce ♪ st. croix, full of pure vibes ♪
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and she said he intends to get involved in the midterm 2014 elections right after labor day. let's bring in our senior political correspondent, brianna keil keilar. she's monitoring what's going on. >> hillary clinton finally commenting on the death of michael brown and the protest that followed after ignoring questions on the issue this weekend. she said that watching brown's funeral on monday, as a mother and a human being, her heart broke for his family, and she said she grieves for the community of ferguson and many like it across the country, addressing the issue of race, saying that behind the violence
in ferguson, there are deep and long-lasting challenges. >> nobody wants to see to see our streets look like a war zone, not in america. were better than that. we cannot ignore the inequities that persist in our justice system. inequities that undermine our most deeply held values of fairness and equality. >> these comments as she wrapped up her prepared remark today during a paid speech for a technology firm in san francisco, and she made these comments after days of criticism from some black, civic, and spiritual leaders, who were wondering why clinton hadn't yet spoken out. she's had opportunities to comment, even though she has been on vacation recently, she did multiple book signings to promote her new memoir, where cameras were present. most recently on sunday, she was asked about ferguson by two reporters at a book signing and she ignored their questions. wolf, i spoke today with a number of people, both clinton's critics on this and also some in
the african-american community, who even if not critical, wanted to hear her reaction on this. they thought that her tone was right today, even if some, wolf, thought that she should have spoken out sooner. >> brianna keilar with the latest on hillary clinton, thanks very much for that. coming up, ukraine calls it a full-scale invasion. we're taking a closer look at new evidence that shows the russian military move inside ukraine. and also this -- we have new details about a second american apparently killed fighting for isis terrorists inside syria. you make a great team.
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news, a blunt admission by president obama about his battle plan against isis terrorists and the possibility of air strikes in syria. >> putting the cart before the horse, we don't have a strategy yet. >> plus, the president is blaming russia for the escalating warfare in ukraine. where officials now say moscow has launched a full-scale invasion. the pentagon's top spokesman is standing by to talk about that, the fight against isis, i should say, the state department's spokeswoman is getting ready to talk about all of that. and new confirmation that audio of gunshots was recorded about the time that michael brown was killed by a police officer. what does it mean for the investigation in ferguson, missouri? we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." and let's get right to the breaking news this hour. president obama holds crisis talks in his situation room and
speaks out about two escalating wars. he's acknowledging the that the united states doesn't have a clear strategy, at least not yet, for launching possible air strikes against isis terrorists in syria, and is making it clear the u.s. won't take military action to solve problems in ukraine, despite blatant aggression by russia. our correspondents are all standing by as we cover the breaking news, here in the united states and around the world. first to our senior white house correspondent, jim acosta, who's monitoring all of these developments for us. jim? >> reporter: wolf, a senior white house official said the president came into the briefing room this afternoon, in part, to tamp down speculation that he was on the verge of launching air strikes against isis targets in syria, but in making those comments to reporters and being peppered with questions about how soon he might launch those air strikes in syria, the president made a remark about his strategy when it comes to isis that perhaps he did not intend to make.
here's what the president had to say. >> we will continue to consult with congress and i do think it will be important for congress to weigh in and -- or that our consultations with congress continue to develop, so that the american people are part of the debate. but i don't want to put the cart before the horse. we don't have a strategy yet. >> now, it's important to point out that immediately after the president wrapped up his remarks in the briefing room, we were contacted by a senior white house official who said that the president was talking when he made that remark, "we don't have a strategy yet," that he was talking about isis air strikes in syria. of course, this white house official said the president has a strategy for dealing with isis in iraq. that is why they say it has been limited in scope, no boots on the ground, hitting those isis targets around the mosul dam and northern iraq and also protecting american personnel. they say that's the strategy for isis in iraq right now. but when it comes to dealing with isis in syria, they are just not there yet.
they want to have more consultations with the president's national security team. they also want to organize a more multi-national effort in the region. that's why he's dispatching secretary of state john kerry to the region, to start lining up allays for potential military air strikes against syria down the road, but, wolf, almost immediately after that briefing was over and people were starting to seize on that, we don't have a strategy remark, the white house press secretary, josh earnest, was on twitter, trying to explain it, put it in context, and make the case that the president does have a larger strategy to deal with isis. but wolf, i don't have to tell you, the president was blowing up on twitter, and not the way he had intended. republicans had already started tweeting out what the president had said, "we don't have a strategy yet," and making it sound as if he was talking about his overall strategy for isis. the white house firmly insists that that is not the case, that he was talking about isis in syr syria. wolf? >> and josh earnest will be joining us momentarily and will try to clarify precisely what the president had to say.
jim acosta, thanks very much for that. let's get some more now on the warfare underway in ukraine. and new evidence of a large-scale move by russian troops across the board. let's go to our pentagon correspondent, barbara starr. she's watching that developing crisis. barbara? >> reporter: wolf, the u.n. security council was called into an emergency session today to discuss all of this. ukraine says they got invaded by russia, russia says, no, they didn't. the white house had no new strategy, no new options to offer. amateur video shows alleged russian battle tanks moving into southern ukraine. in the last 24 hours, up to 1,000 russian troops with heavy weapons moved into the area, according to u.s. military intelligence. >> russia has deliberately and repeatedly violated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of ukraine, and the new images of russian forces inside ukraine make that plain for the world to see. >> reporter: moving from russia,
the 1,000 troops crossed into southern ukraine, moving to the city of maripol. this opens another front in fighting other than the russian troops already in the donetsk regions. the polish foreign minister calls it the most serious security crisis in europe more decades. has russia invaded ukraine? >> i don't think it really matters what you call it. but what you're seeing is an opening of a new front. and this time, i'd classify it more in the invasion category, because there are regular troops that are observable. >> reporter: at nato, commercial satellite imagery made public of russian forces on the move for the last several days. this, a convoy of russian artillery, inside eastern ukraine. russia also moving in with armored vehicles and multiple rocket launchers. an sa-22 anti-air weapons like these, to keep ukraine's air
force from flying. the prime minister of the self-proclaimed donetsk people's republic denies an invasion. it's all about vacations, he says. >> translator: current russian military are also fighting with us, who prefer to spend their holiday not on the seaside, but amongst us. >> reporter: another crisis that comes at a very awkward, tough time for the president. he travels next week to a nato summit, where russia and ukraine were already likely to be topic number one. no indication of any new ideas to offer, other than to talk a lot about how much they want to contain russia's moves. wolf? >> another crisis, obviously, for the united states, and indeed, the world. what's going on in that border between russia and ukraine, what's going on in the middle east. barbara, thanks very, very much. we're joined now by the white house press secretary, josh ernest, who's joining us from
the north lawn of the white house. thanks very much for coming on. i knowed up to come on the program to clarify what the president meant when he said, we don't have a strategy yet. because the commotion that those words generated was enormous. so go ahead and tell us what the president precisely was referring to? >> wolf, the president was asked a specific question about what approach he was going to pursue when it came to possible military action in syria against isil. that was the specific question he was asked and the president was explicit, that he is still waiting for plans that are being developed by the pentagon for military options that he has for going into syria. but when it comes to confronting isil, the president has been very clear for months about what our comprehensive strategy is for confronting the isil threat in iraq. it starts with a unified iraq government, that can unite that country to meet the threat that's facing their country right now. it includes strengthening our relationship with the iraqi and kurdish security forces, to make sure that they have the
equipment and training that they need, to take the fight to isil on the ground in their country. the third component of our strategy is engaging regional governments. it's certainly not in the interest of governments in that neighborhood, to have isil wreaking havoc and perpetrating terrible acts of violence in the region. the fourth aspect of the strategy is engaging countries around the world in this effort. and then, of course, the fifth aspect of the strategy, the fifth component, is the use of american military force. and the president has authorized american military strikes in iraq to protect american personnel and to avert humanitarian disasters in some that's being perpetrated against some liblgs and ethnic minorities by isil. so the president has been clear about what our strategy is. the president is clear that the strategy is one that's not going to solve problem overnight, but he's also clear about the fact that our strategy can't only be the american military. if we've learned anything over the last 10 or 12 years, wolf, it's that a strategy that only includes military force will not
be an enduring solution to this problem. >> all right. so let me be precise there. the president does have a strategy in dealing with isis, the terrorists in iraq, but he does not yet have a strategy in dealing with isis, the same terrorists who operate in syria. is that right? >> well, no, what's clear is we have a comprehensive strategy for dealing with isil. one component of our broader strategy is the use of military force. the president has authorized the use of military force in iraq to protect american personnel and to protect religious and ethnic minorities who are vulnerable to persecution by isil. the aspect of the strategy that is still being developed by the pentagon and the president is discussing in "the situation room" at the white house right now is what sort of military options are available for using military force against isil in syria. those options are still being developed. but when it comes to our broader comprehensive strategy for dealing with isil, the president has been clear about what that strategy is. and it is ensuring that iraq has
the support from the international community that it needs to take care of their own security situation. the united states military can no longer be solely responsible for stabilizing the security situation in iraq. it's time for iraq's government and iraq's security forces to be integrated, to be united, and to confront the isil threat in their own country themselves. >> so, when the president uses those words, we don't have a strategy yet, i want to be precise and i don't want to harp too much on this, but when he says, "we don't have a strategy yet," what precisely was he referring to? >> he was referring to military options for striking isil in syria. those options are still being developed by the pentagon. they, obviously, have spent a lot of time working on this and they're still working through it. it's the subject of some discussion in the situation room at the white house right now. but in terms of our broader strab strategy for confronting isil, the president has been very clear on what that is, and it can't rely only on the use of
american military force. the american military is very effective, and thanks to our brave men and women in uniform, we've already enjoyed significant success in iraq so far in confronting isil. we averted a humanitarian disaster and thousands were able to escape persecution. the american plimeramerican mil the to support iraq and kurdish security forces in retaking mosul dam. the american military air strikes were also effective in blunting what had been a pretty aggressive advance by isil on erbil, a location where the united states has a consulate and where many americans live. so there has been an effective use of american military force in iraq so far against isil, but what the president is crystal clear about is that our strategy is much broader than just the use of military force. we need to engage the international community, and the strategy needs to begin with an inclusive iraqi government that can unite the country of iraq to meet the threat that's facing their country right now. >> so the president basically is
waiting for the pentagon, the military, the intelligence community, to give him all the information they can, to develop the various options for dealing with isis terrorist targets in syria. at that point, the president, as commander in chief, josh, will review all of the evidence and then come up with a strategy, is that right? >> well, what the president will do is he will consider the options presented to him by the pentagon, and at that point, the president will make a determination about how those options fit in as a component of our broader strategy for confronting isil. again, any sort of strategy that's predicated only on the s use of american military force will not be an enduring solution to this challenge. what will -- that enduring solution will require the iraqi government stepping up, stepping forward, uniting that country, strengthening their security forces, so that they can meet the threat, the security threat that exists in their home country. >> how much time do you think is needed before that strategy
evolves and is actually put on paper? how much more time do you think before the president decides whether or not to launch air strikes against isis targets in syria? >> well, i know that the president will be in regular communication with his national security team on this issue. as he is every aspect of our strategy. the president is sending the secretary of state john kerry to the region, where he'll be meeting with regional governments who have a clear interest in working with the united states and the broader international community, to confront this threat. f the president is eager to get regularly updated on the status of those conversations, in the same way that he's eager to get updated on a regular basis by the defense department about the success and progress that's being made as a result of military strikes the president has already authorized in iraq and this is also part of the way in which he's updated on military planning as it relates to options that are available to the president in syria. so there is a broad, comprehensive strategy that has a range of components here.
so it's understandable, wolf, that you and your viewers are very focused on what sort of military action the president is contemplating and may ultimately authorize, it's just important to understand that that is only one component of a broader strategy for dealing with this situation. we clearly have learned, over last 10 or 12 years, that american military force cannot be the only component of the strategy. if it is, that will succeed in temporarily stabilizing the security situation, but without the iraqis stepping up and assuming their responsibility for the security of their own country, any sort of military action, any sort of military progress that's made will only be temporary. >> does the president believe, if he is going to go ahead with military action against targets inside syria, he first needs congressional authorization? would you go for a role call vote in the house and the senate before military strikes are ordered? >> well, wolf, the president did address this in the news conference today. and what he made clear is he believes that it's important for congress to be consulted. the president's been consulting
with congress since june when this issue first publicly appeared on radar screen. the united states had for some time been warning the iraqis about the threat of isil, but the president has been regularly consulting with members of congress, and ultimately, he has the authority that he needs to authorize the kind of military action required to protect americans in iraq. but if the -- >> what about in syria? >> well, the syria situation is -- depends on what our goal is. and the president was pretty clear about that. i don't want to get ahead of whether congressional authorization would be required for a decision the president hasn't made yet. if we get to a point where the president does decide that he's going to take advantage of some of the military options that are presented to him in syria, then we'll have a discussion about what sort of proper role congress should play in weighing in on those options. but, i will say that -- i can
say, definitively, wolf, that throughout this process, congress will continue to be regularly consulted as the president develops this strategy and on t and continues to implement it. >> you know the criticism that's coming in from some, what's taking so long? you know this problem of isis or isil, as you call it, has been around for months if not longer, what's taking so long to come up with a strategy to deal with this threat inside syria? >> to be clear, the united states and the obama administration has been very aggressive for a number of years now in dealing with the situation in syria. the united states, under the leadership of president obama, is the largest donor of humanitarian assistance to try to meet the needs of those syrians who have been displaced by violence in their country. the united states has also been engaged in an effort to support the moderate syrian opposition, as they fight both of the assad regime, but also the more extremist elements like isil, that are operating in their
country. so there are a number of things the united states has been doing for years, to try to address the situation in syria. the reason that this is on the front page of every newspaper across the country is that we saw a political failure to spread into iraq in a ways that is pretty alarming. that's the challenge we're dealing with right now. the president has put forward this comprehensive strategy that the people in iraq's political leaders, uniting that country to meet the existential threat that's facing their country. so that the united states is not, and the united states military, more importantly, is not solely responsible for preserving the security situation in iraq, it's time for the iraq's government and iraq's security forces and the iraqi people to step forward and take responsibility for the security situation in that country. >> it certainly is. it's way beyond time for the iraqi government to do that. that's been a huge, huge disappointment to all of us who have covered that story for so long. josh earnest, the white house press secretary, thanks very much for joining us. >> yes, wolf, thank you.
>> still ahead, more on the battle against isis and the war that's undergoing right now in ukraine. jen psaki is standing by live. and new evidence on the shooting death of michael brown may be stronger now. the timing of an audio recording of gunshots now has been confirmed. where the reward was that what if tnew car smelledit card and the freedom of the open road? a card that gave you that "i'm 16 and just got my first car" feeling. presenting the buypower card from capital one. redeem earnings toward part or even all of a new chevrolet, buick, gmc or cadillac - with no limits. so every time you use it, you're not just shopping for goods. you're shopping for something great. learn more at buypowercard.com so what we're looking for is a way to "plus" our accounting firm's mobile plan. and "minus" our expenses. perfect timing. we're offering our best-ever pricing on mobile plans for business. run the numbers on that. well, unlimited talk and text, and ten gigs of data for the five of you would be...
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>> hi, jen. thanks very much for joining us. >> my pleasure. >> do you want to weigh in at all on this whole issue about the president acknowledging he doesn't have a strategy yet for dealing with isis in syria? he does have a strategy, according to josh earnest, for dealing with isis in iraq, but not yet in syria. >> well, i think it's important to note here, the president has already begun implementing his strategy to defeat isil, but that's not just a military strategy. we've done strikes in iraq. we've made clear, we're not going to be limited by borders, but he's also building international coalition. secretary kerry, secretary hagel will be headed out after nato to the region, to the middle east, to continue to build this coalition. because it's not an overnight issue that we can address, it's one that we need a long-term strategy that has multiple components, including a financial aspect, a political aspect, a diplomatic aspect, as well as a military aspect. and that's something the president has directed his team to do. >> so will secretary kerry be heading to the middle east after
the nato summit in wales next week or before? >> reporte >> he will be heading after the nato summit. he's also be having a meeting, he'll be co-chairing with secretary hagel while he's hat the nato summit with their counterparts to continue to discuss what roles every country can play, not just countries in the arab worlds, not just countries in europe, but countries around the world in addressing the threat of is iil. it's one that there's a growing concern about and one that we're taking a leading role in fighting. >> what countries is the secretary of state visiting? >> well, we're still determining that, wolf, so i expect we'll know more in the coming 24 to 48 hours, but certainly you can expect countries throughout the middle east will be countries the secretary will be meeting with as part of his travel. >> because the president said the u.s. is trying to get support of sunnis, sunni muslims, sunni arabs, i assume you're talking about saudi arabia, egypt, uae, i don't know who else? who else are you talking about? >> well, these are all countries
that have a stake here, have a role to play, have contributions they've already made to the threat against isil. however, wolf, i think this is also a threat that many countries in the world want to address. look at the fact that australia, other countries in asia have taken steps to provide humanitarian assistance. there's an international and growing global concern about this issue, and the secretary will be speaking with his counterparts from around the world about this. >> does the secretary of state and the president, for that matter, hope to establish some sort of nato strategy in dealing with isis in iraq and syria? >> well, certainly, this will be a big topic of discussion next week when the president, the secretary, and secretary hagel are all at nato. and this meeting that secretary hagel and secretary kerry will host there with their counterparts to talk about this coalition and how to take on this threat will be taking place there. so it will be a big topic of discussion, but, of course, there are a range of other
issues and discussions that will take place at nato, including about afghanistan, including about ukraine. so i think it will be a shared issues that will be discussed while they're all in wales. >> have you confirmed the identity of the second american who was working or fighting with isis, who apparently was killed? >> there have been a range of reports, i know by cnn as well, i don't have any additional confirmation of that. of course, we're looking into it, but unfortunately no update at this point. >> the ukrainian government say the russians have launched what they call a full-scale invasion of their sovereign territory. does the united states government agree with the ukrainian government? >> well, the united states government has not held back in conveying our strong concern about the steps that russia, russian-backed separatists have taken. what we're looking at here is an incursion, one supported by russia, one that involves arms,
it involves people, it involves financing. it's illegal. it's one that violates the international norms that are accepted across the world. that's why we've put a range of sanctions in place and while we'll continue to consider additional options, along with our european counterparts about how we can help ukraine and how we can hold russia accountable. >> but you're not calling it an invasion, right? >> well, wolf, it doesn't really matter what we call it. it is -- these steps are an illegal incursion. they do violate the sovereignty of ukraine. we're more focused on what russia's doing, what we can do to help ukraine, what we can do about it, and how we can bring an end to this situation that is causing great concern, not only in the region, but in europe and certainly in the united states. >> but if you call it an "illegal incursion," isn't that the same as calling it an invasion? i know words are important, especially for diplomats like you at the state department, what's the difference between an
illegal incursion by russia into ukraine as opposed to an invasion by russia into ukraine? >> well, i think what's important for the american people to know, or many of the watchers of cnn to know, is that whatever it is called, it doesn't change the options that where the united states is considering in conjunction with europe and in conjunction with our counterparts around the world, we have a range of requests from ukraine, we've been in very close contact with our european partners about what additional steps we can take. and that's not changed by terminology or phrasing. so that's something that we'll continue to discuss through the course of the week leading into nato and certainly there while we're in wales. >> how much of a gap is there between the united states on the one hand and some of the nato allies on the other hand when it comes to strengthening, even going further in terms of sanctions against russia? >> well, we've been working in lockstep with europe all along. there's no question that many european countries have much
more significant trade relationships in a variety of industries with russia. we understand that. at the same time, europe has shown clearly by the different sanctions they've put in place, including with some financial institutions and others, that they are -- they want to send a strong message and a strong message that's backed by steps and by action, that the steps russia is taking are unacceptable. of course, they factor in their own economies, but we've been working closely with them, and i really, i don't think there has been a gap to date. we all share our concern, we all want to put more costs in place, and we've all been clear that there will be continued consequences if russia does not de-escalate. >> one final question, jen psaki, before i let you go. before the president heads to wales for the nato summit, he's going to make a very important visit to estonia, one of the baltic states, a former sovereign republic, a former member of nato. all of those countries are members of nato, but they're very worried about russia. how worried should they be? >> well, the nato alliance is a
strong alliance. it's backed by article v. i think one of the reasons the president is making that stop is why the secretary and secretary hagel have made similar stops. we support our nato allies, we have their backs. we've continued to increase assistance, increase training, and that's something i'm certain he'll be talking about next week when he's there. >> jen psaki, i know you'll be traveling with the secretary, so safe travels. we'll see you soon. >> thank you. >> thanks very much for joining us. >> my pleasure. >> thank you. we're getting new details about those fighting for isis in syria. he's been identified and as we learn more about it, we're discovering a startling condition connection among other americans fighting for various terrorist groups. ted rowlands joining us now, he's been investigating. what are you finding out, ted? >> well, douglas and this man
fought together in isis and syria and died on the same battle field, but mccain was following in the footsteps of a friend he met in high school. two americans, friends in high school, both fighting for extremist groups overseas. they struck up a close friendship while attending high school in new hope, minnesota, a suburb of minneapolis. while neither were raised muslim, they had many friends who were members of the large population of somali immigrants and eventually they both converted to islam. >> he grew to have like really strong muslim beliefs, so much to the fact like, where, he was almost like turning into a somalian. because he had like a lot of somalian friends. >> kastigar's mother tries to explain how these two young men who played basketball together in high school ended up fighting together overseas. >> i think there was like wanting to have a, you know,
wanting to have a purpose, wanting to be a valuable human being and not finding that. >> reporter: kastigar was killed five years ago in somalia while fighting for the terror group, al shabaab. that group made it clear they were trying to recruit more fighters like him. kastigar and two other men starred in this video. >> if you guys only knew how much fun we have here, come here and join us. >> before becoming jihadis, they seemed like troubled teenagers. while living in the u.s., kastigar had a two duis. mccain gave false information to police. he was also arrested six times.
for minor offenses for his association with other known terrorists. his body was identified when the rebel group who killed him found his u.s. passport. u.s. security leader from minnesota to to syria and may want to come back, bringing jihad with them. >> those kids with the u.s. passport, not only u.s. passport, but also passports might one day come here and do something. >> reporter: and wolf, the fbi here in minneapolis is very concerned, not only about the ongoing recruiting effort that continues in the twin cities, but also with about a dozen people they say, citizens of the united states, that are now overseas fighting for isis. wolf? >> who would have thought in minnesota, of all places, these kinds of developments could occur. thanks very much more that report, ted rowlands. just ahead, a tech company confirms an audio recording of
gunfire in ferguson, missouri, was made at the time, the same time as michael brown's shooting. so how will that tape change this investigation? stand by. and a new clue in the world's greatest mystery. we're going to tell you about a new detail nearly six months, six months after mh-370 disappeared. at the lexus golden opportunity sales event, you'll discover what happens when we break the rules. the rules that said a luxury car should be powered by gasoline only. we introduced the world's first luxury hybrid. and now, 85% of all luxury hybrids on the road... ...are lexus hybrids. the result: the gold standard of luxury hybrids. and the only place you'll find it is at the lexus golden opportunity sales event. now through september 2nd. this is the pursuit of perfection.
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there's breaking news coming in from ferguson, missouri. six people are now filing a lawsuit against police saying their civil rights were violated. they're asking for $40 million in damages for false arrest, emotional distress, and assault among other accusations. meanwhile, the company whose video chat service may have captured audio of michael brown's shooting has now verified the time stamp of the recording, saying it was created at the same time of the innocent incident. listen to the tape. >> you are pretty. [ gunfire ] you're so fine. just going on some of your videos. how could i forget [ gunfire ] >> cnn's don lemmon helped uncover this audio. he's joining us from new york, along with cnn law enforcement analyst, tom fuentes, the former fbi assistant director. don, people had some doubts about the authenticity of this
audio, but those doubts, i guess the audio, the company that provides this service says they shouldn't have those doubts. >> the doubts came from a conversation that happened on television, comments that were taken out of context. but now since this company, and it's called glide, which is a social messaging service, it's verified the time stamp and time stamp, 12:02:14 p.m. central time, wolf, and that's around the exact time that michael brown was shot by the police officer in ferguson, missouri. so now that they are verifying that and that the fbi is looking into it as well, it adds another layer of authentication on top of this. >> so tom, now that the time has been verified, how does that impact this investigation? >> well, wolf, i think the same issue is still going to be that, you know, we still wonder about the first shot, because the chief of police said the day after the shooting that there was a struggle at the car and the gun was fired and that matches dorian johnson's statement there was a struggle
at the car and the gun was fired. so we don't hear that one single shot, so maybe the call wasn't initiated yet when that shot took place, but right around that time. and then we do have the series of shots, the pause, and four more shots. so, it will have to be matched up with all the various witness statements, the ones that we know already, and then, of course, whatever statement that later officer wilson provides us to exactly the time sequence. >> do we know when that audio recording started, don? >> we do. again, the time stamp is 12:02:14 p.m. central time. and what's interesting, from the beginning, everyone thought it was an interactive web chat, but it wasn't. it was, he was recording on this messaging service to send it to someone else. and apparently, there's only 12 seconds of the recording. so the recording, the shot could have happened before he started -- >> the shot in the car. >> if it indeed happened, it could have happened before he started recording, as tom said. >> because on that audio chat, that video, we don't hear if
there was a shot in the car, we don't hear that. >> no, we don't hear. we only hear the first shots and then that pause of about three seconds, as the audio expert has said, and then four shots and some people hear five shots outside of that, but four and maybe an echo. >> tell us how we got this audio recording reque ing recording? >> well, someone in the neighborhood, producers were out there, and someone came up and said, i think someone i know has a audio recording. so we checked into it, and nothing came about, and a couple of days later, i got a source that had information that this tape existed. so we tracked down an attorney and through the attorney, we were able to verify. the interesting thing is, that as i was calling the attorney, the attorney and her client were both meeting with the fbi at that very moment. and then minutes later, they called me back and a short time after that, after we verified with it our attorneys, they were on the air, or she was on the air, at least, giving us the
information with the recording. >> and tom, even though there is no shot heard on this audio recording from this video chat, there's plenty of ways they could determine whether or not there's any forensic evidence to confirm there was a gunshot inside the vehicle. >> that's right. the scientific examination of the vehicle, of the clothing, of michael brown's clothing will absolutely determine whether there's gun powder residue, muzzle flash residue, any remnants, the multiple casing would have probably been still in the car. so they'll be able to very definitively determine if a shot was fired at or near that car, especially if the officer is still inside the car. and really, it doesn't change much, other than, you know, because the supporters of brown or the supporters of the officer can argue either way the number of shots, what happened and what was michael brown's position, the proximity to the officer during those shots, the three-second pause followed by four more shots.
that's been speculated both ways to favor brown, to favor the officer. so there's still more that has to be matched up, but it's a great piece of evidence, it just has to be matched with all of the other accounts and the forensic examinations. >> tom fuentes and don lemon, guys, thanks very much. don will have a lot more on this later tonight, 10:00 p.m. eastern here on cnn. he's got a two-hour show coming up, 10:00 p.m. eastern. still ahead, we're going to tell you about new information that's just been revealed about malaysia flight 370 as the underwater search is about to resume. and will president obama ask for congressional authorization if he decides to launch air strikes against isis in syria? we're going to talk about the serious challenges ahead.
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disappearance of malaysia airlines flight 370. investigators are revealing a potentially important new detail, just as the underwater search for the jet is finally about to resume. let's bring in our aviation correspondent, renee marsh. what are you learning, renee? >> well, wolf, the big news today, a phone call someone on the ground made to the plane's satellite phone is giving authorities new clues about where the missing plane may be. experts now have a new data point, nearly six months after the 777 vanished. a new clue, malaysia airlines flight 370 may have turned south earlier than original lly thoug. the new detail based on examination of data from an unsuccessful satellite phone call made to the doomed passenger yet. >> malaysian airlines ground star sought to make contact with the aircraft using a slate phone. the detailed research that's being done now has been able to identify or trace that phone call and help to position the
aircraft. >> reporter: the new details put a sharp focus on the southernmost section of the current search area. it's still believed the missing boeing 777 is some place along this seventh arc, where the plane made its last slate it's been more than five months since the plane with 239 people on board vanished from radar. not one piece of debris has been found. >> we need to find the black box so we can have a conclusion. >> reporter: the deep sea surge is expected to resume in three weeks using tow sonar equipment and video cameras. the price tag for a 300-day search? $48 million. in the meantime, two ships have been mapping the ocean floor. what they've discovered below is dramatic. >> quite remarkable geographical features including a couple of volcanoes. in some places the sea depth is as little as 600 meter, then
falls away in just a very short distance to 6,600 meters. >> reporter: after flight 370 went missing a second disaster for malaysia airlines when prorussia militants shot a plane out of the sky over ukraine. all 298 people on board died. the twin disasters have created a financial catastrophe for the airline. it lost $97.4 million in the most recent quarter. as people tweet photos purportedly showing empty seats. malaysia airlines is poised for a major restructuring. thousands of job cuts are on the horizon. also today we know that representatives from malaysia as well as china and australia, they met to get an update on the progress as far as the search and the investigation. we don't -- do know as far as the investigation goes, they've gathered all factual information, records and interviews from the relevant
individuals. now they're analyzing all that. but what continues to be a road block is the lack of physical evidence. >> what a mystery this remains. thanks very much, rene for that report. isis terrorists are executing prisoners as a growing number of radicalized americans join their ranks. the group seizes more land if iraq and syria, that's so say nothing of ukraine or domestic politics. is president obama got a lot of challenges right now. we're going to assess what's going on. creates something else as well: jobs all over america. engineering and innovation jobs. advanced safety systems & technology. shipping and manufacturing. across the united states, bp supports more than a quarter million jobs. when we set up operation in one part of the country, people in other parts go to work. that's not a coincidence. it's one more part of our commitment to america. you know it can't last forever. but that's okay.
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conference earlier this afternoon president obama was asked about possible u.s. air strikes on isis targets in syria. the president replied, i'm quoting now, we don't have a strategy yet. in "the situation room" is spokesman press secretary josh ernst he said as far as isis is concerned he's awaiting military options for strikes in syria. let's bring in gloria borger. what are you hearing from your sources, gloria, about the timing, about those options and when the president will come up with a specific strategy for dealing with isis in syria? >> well, wolf, you know, nothing is definitive on this, but i spoke with the senior administration official who said that we could expect a decision in a week or so. now, that can drag on, wolf, because, as we know, the secretary of state, john kerry, has been dispatched to the region and he will go there after the nato conference.
so we're not -- you know, we're not quite exactly sure when we will get a decision, but this source did say to me a week or so. as you know, the president's feeling an awful lot of pressure on making a decision, and that's why, in fact, he held his press conference today because he was trying to take some of the pressure off himself. he made it clear that he didn't want to get railroaded into a decision he wasn't ready to make. and as this source said to me, we want a better package, we want to know where some countries in the region stand, and that's why john kerry's headed over there. >> what are you hearing about whether or not the president will seek formal congressional authorization before any such air strikes? >> well, as you heard in his press conference today, wolf, the president was very careful to not distinguish between asking for permission and consulting with congress. and what i was told by this senior administration official is that in some private sessions with members of congress, members have made it very clear,
you know, they're not exactly eager to vote on this this close to the midterm elections. so it also depends, wolf, on exactly what the president decides to do because what he's doing is what he's doing right now and if he decides to do anything further, he would have to seek -- or he would seek congressional approval, but they don't know what he's going to do yet and they also think that congress wouldn't be eager to vote on anything. so again, it all remains quite murky. >> he's got to deal with ukraine, too, on top of syria -- these are tough issues. >> right. i was told by this same senior administration official that they are looking at more sanctions when it comes to ukraine, that i was told, quote, we want to extract a price from putin and keep him isolated. we need to keep the pressure on him and make these sanctions hurt. so you can be sure at the nato
meeting that's probably going to be topic "a." >> it's going to be lively indeed and critical. thanks very much. you can always follow us on twitter. go ahead and tweet m me @wolfblitzer, the sho show @cnnsitroom. you can dvr the show so you won't miss a moment. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. "outfront" next, breaking news. a stunning admission from the president. the administration has no strategy to defeat the terror group isis in syria. plus what we're learning about douglas mccain, the american who died fighting for isis and his close ties to another american jihadi. and mounting evidence of russian troops inside ukraine. one ukrainian official calling it, quote, a full scale invasion. let's go "outfront."